Texas ticket to death

Since Texas passed commonsense legislation requiring that abortion facilities have admitting privileges to local hospitals and banning abortions after 20 weeks, we’ve seen facilities across the state shut their doors. According to the New York Times, in 2011 there were 44 abortion clinics in the Lone Star State; now, there are 24.

Unable to abide a state culture that increasingly values life and seeks to protect the health of women, a University of Texas student has launched a non-profit to send women and underage girls on road trips of death, specifically for the purpose of aborting their unborn babies.

As the Texas Tribune reports, last November 20-year old Lenzi Sheible began Fund Texas Women, a group that, according to its website, funds “practical support and information to Texas women seeking abortion.” In other words, for Texas women – and minors – wanting to skirt the state law, the group will help them do just that. (In fact, Sheible admitted this very thing, saying, “What we do seems like we are intentionally trying to get around the legislative barriers that exist, which we are.”)

Specifically, Fund Texas Women provides transportation to and from abortion clinics and hotel accommodations when overnight stays are required. The website even shows a map of bus routes typically used. Nothing says “we care about women’s physical, emotional, and psychological wellbeing” like loading them on a bus to get an abortion.

But although the site claims it’s all about providing “support and information,” the facts say something different. For example, according to the website, before women contact the group for services, they are supposed to have an abortion scheduled already. So what about that information? It’s certainly not information on abortion alternatives, or on the baby’s fetal development, or on the risks of abortion. No, Fund Texas Women isn’t interested in giving information. It’s interested in getting women to abortion clinics.

Perhaps most disturbing, though, is that the group caters to minors. As the Guttmacher Institute notes, Texas law requires parental notice and consent before a minor has an abortion. Yet, the website criteria women have to meet before requesting services from the group says nothing about minor women needing parental consent. Troubling? I think so. And I’m not the only one.

In a written statement to the Tribune, Texas Alliance for Life Executive Director Joe Pojman said, “We are troubled that this organization may be encouraging doctors to perform abortions on minors without parental consent, which would be in violation Texas’ long-standing parental consent law.”

Fund Texas Women claims to be about equality and reproductive justice. But when the single purpose of an organization is ending an unborn life, equality and justice are empty promises heralded by those living while denied those brutally killed.

In a twisted comparison, Fund Texas Women actually makes light of its actions, calling itself a “travel agency of sorts.” Disturbing. And also a lie. Travel agencies at least have more than one destination option. Fund Texas Women has only one: an abortion facility. And for every two tickets, one is one-way.

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